Events of March 1918 (Part 3)



By 1918pogroms.com

Killing people on the basis of ethnicity cannot be justified by anything, but it is even more frightening when people die during ethnic cleansing just because they are ethnically close to those who are considered to be the culprits of the killer’s troubles.The events of 1918 on the entire territory of Azerbaijan are described as ethnic cleansing by historians, who say that the riots were part of ambitious plans of nationalists, who were seeking to maximize the reduction in the number of Muslim population in all regions of Azerbaijan. However, it is not entirely clear why the Armenian massacres of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire became the basis for the ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in 1918.

The Azerbaijanis who were living in the Russian Empire (and other Turkic peoples - Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Turkmens, Gagauz, Karachai) had a very indirect relationship to the Turks living in the Ottoman Empire.

In the struggle for the throne of the "oil kingdom" of Baku, the Baku Bolshevik leader Stepan Shaumyan (Lalayants) found support from the radical Dashnaks and Armenian combat units stationed in Baku, which were evacuated from the front and fought on the side of the Entente for the towns and villages of Turkey, who were dreaming of revenge.

The involvement of the struggle for power of the national democratic party Musavat turned the battle into massacres of Azerbaijani civilians, who had nothing against the Armenians, living peacefully with them for many years on the same land. In March 1918 Azerbaijanis were eliminated merely because they ethnically belonged to the family of Turkic peoples, although they had their own history, different from the history of the Ottoman Turks.

It was then that the ideology of the hostile policy of Armenians against Azerbaijanis started, which is based on the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

Today, Armenia is seeking recognition of the events in 1915 as genocide.

Thus, in freedom-loving France, where cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and Christ are considered the sacred right of the individual, and the right of freedom of expression,there was an attempt in late 2011 to pass a law punishing denial of the Armenian genocide with a fine of 45,000 euros and imprisonment for one year.

It is not clear how condemnation of the evil committed in 1915 on the territory of the Ottoman Empire can explain the claim on present-day Azerbaijani territory, since the events of a century ago can explain the actions of Armenia’s recent history - the Khojaly tragedy, and the occupation of Karabakh.

Nevertheless it happens, and is probably inspired by those who think about their own political and economic capital, forgetting about the interests of their own people and their nearest neighbors. For most of these people Armenia is their historic homeland, but the Armenian Diaspora is not much concerned about the fact that this kind of policy leads to hostile relations with two (Turkey, Azerbaijan) of the four neighbors of Armenia.

Nevertheless, today Armenia finds itself in an economic impasse, and people are forced to leave the country. Recently, the first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, called the attempts to continue the search for enemies as an anti-Armenian policy, urging to abandon the idea of ​​creating a 'Greater Armenia'.

Indeed, the policy of mutually beneficial cooperation with its neighbors, will sooner or later make the Caucasus a prosperous land.

As an act of condemnation of the policy of hostility, as an example of the consequences of revenge, as well as the disclosure of objective facts, Vestnik Kavkaza is publishing materials about the March events of 1918, prepared by the Extraordinary Commission of Inquiry to investigate instances of violence, riots and looting in Transcaucasia from the period of the First World War.

Vestnik Kavkaza provides the historical documents without any changes, but urges readers not to take the frequently used word "Armenians" as a general quality. We are talking only about the people of Armenian origin who were participants in those events, and the majority of this nationality were themselves hostages of the situation.

 

 

Even though on March 19th peace was made between the Bolsheviks and the Muslims who agreed to give their arms to the Bolsheviks, the Armenians continued killing Muslims and robbing them not only till March 22nd, when the peacemaking agreement was signed between them and the Muslims, but further. Numerous cases of robbing, murdering and kidnapping of Muslims continued until Baku was occupied by Azerbaijani-Turkish troops (Vol. II l. 51). The reaction of the Armenians to the Muslims’ attempts to stop the bloody war can be exemplified by the fact that on the afternoon of March 20th a delegation was sent from the fortress to the upper side of the city. The delagation included Molla Javad Akhundov, Molla Hadji Mir Mowsum, Hadji Husein Tagiyev, Dr. Atabekyan, and a member of the executive council Denezhkin.The delegation was stopped on Zavedenskaya Street by six Armenian soldiers who asked where the delegation was going. When they found out the delegation was heading to the Muslim part of the city with a proposal to stop the military activities, as a peacemaking treaty had been signed between the Muslims and the Armenians, the Armenian soldiers said that they wouldn’t let the delegation move forward, as they didn’t recognize any peacemaking agreement. When the members of the delegation tried to reach the Muslims’ trenches at the end of Zavedenskaya Street, the Armenian soldiers began to shoot at their backs and killed all the delegates, except for Molla Javad Akhundov, who managed to reach and hide in the trenches (Vol. II, l. 4).All these facts are confirmed by reports of witnesses and protocols of examination and inspections and photographs of numerous burnt houses and disfigured corpses. The Armenian soldiers who destroyed the Muslim parts of the city were an engineer Artem Ter-Akopov, Fridun Antonov, George Melikov, Asatur Vachiyants, a lawyer Artuchev, Yegish Pakhlavuni, Levon Saatsazbekov, a student Popbyan, Ambar-tsum Melikov, Stepan Lalayev, a warrant officer Dovlatov, and Christopher Dildarov (Vol. I l. 1, ob. 5,6; Vol. II l. 2, 23 ob., 24, 50 ob.).During the events of March the Armenian impudence was so great that they burst into the houses of their Muslim friends, robbed them and killed everybody. On March 20th Stepan Lalayev and a large unit of Armenian soldiers entered the apartment of a doctor, Bei Bala bek Sultanov, who lived on Vorontsovskaya Street; Lalayev killed him from his gun. When Lalayev stepped outside, he shot dead a Muslim yard-keeper, his wife and two-year-old son (Vol. I l. 62, 68). About 30 armed Armenians arrived at the apartment of Meshadi Ahmed Ragim ogly, who lived on Surakhanskaya Street. They took gold, silver and lady’s possessions worth 34,840 rubles. Meshadi Ahmed knew some of the criminals – a shopkeeper Yekhushi and his son Samvel (Vol. I l. 21).Yekhushi and other armed Armenians broke into the apartment of Aga Husein Hadji Salim ogly Nadzhafarov, took the most valuable property worth 111,640 rubles, and killed his brother and father. Nadzhafarov, women and children were sent to the Mailov Theatre, where they were held for three days (Vol. I l. 22). Several armed Armenians, a warrant officer Avakyan and a shoemaker Isaak Bagdasarov were among them, broke into an apartment of Meshadi Usein Safaraliyev on Church Street, took all his cash and other valuables worth 186,000 rubles. They took Safaraliyev and his family to the Record Theatre. On the way to the theatre, one of Armenians shot at Safaraliyev and injured him in the right ear (Vol. I l. 25).Isaak Bagdasarov and other armed Armenians arrived at the apartment of Mir Kasum Ibrahim ogly on Tatar Street and robbed his home, taking 150,000 rubles (Vol. I l. 94). Several armed Armenians broke into Hasan Mikhailov’s place, who lived on the corner of Bondarnaya and Mariinskaya Streets. One of the Armenians was the owner of a barbershop situated on Olginskaya Street. He was fat with a scar on his face. The criminals killed one of the brothers of Mikhailov, Melik Mameda; his second brother Tagi was sent together with his wife and daughter to the Mailov Theatre. On the way to the theatre they killed Tagi and took 2500 rubles in cash. The Armenians took cash and various valuables worth 54,000 rubles from Mikhailov’s apartment (Vol. I l. 30).

Even though on March 19th peace was made between the Bolsheviks and the Muslims who agreed to give their arms to the Bolsheviks, the Armenians continued killing Muslims and robbing them not only till March 22nd, when the peacemaking agreement was signed between them and the Muslims, but further. Numerous cases of robbing, murdering and kidnapping of Muslims continued until Baku was occupied by Azerbaijani-Turkish troops (Vol. II l. 51). The reaction of the Armenians to the Muslims’ attempts to stop the bloody war can be exemplified by the fact that on the afternoon of March 20th a delegation was sent from the fortress to the upper side of the city. The delagation included Molla Javad Akhundov, Molla Hadji Mir Mowsum, Hadji Husein Tagiyev, Dr. Atabekyan, and a member of the executive council Denezhkin.

The delegation was stopped on Zavedenskaya Street by six Armenian soldiers who asked where the delegation was going. When they found out the delegation was heading to the Muslim part of the city with a proposal to stop the military activities, as a peacemaking treaty had been signed between the Muslims and the Armenians, the Armenian soldiers said that they wouldn’t let the delegation move forward, as they didn’t recognize any peacemaking agreement. When the members of the delegation tried to reach the Muslims’ trenches at the end of Zavedenskaya Street, the Armenian soldiers began to shoot at their backs and killed all the delegates, except for Molla Javad Akhundov, who managed to reach and hide in the trenches (Vol. II, l. 4).

All these facts are confirmed by reports of witnesses and protocols of examination and inspections and photographs of numerous burnt houses and disfigured corpses. The Armenian soldiers who destroyed the Muslim parts of the city were an engineer Artem Ter-Akopov, Fridun Antonov, George Melikov, Asatur Vachiyants, a lawyer Artuchev, Yegish Pakhlavuni, Levon Saatsazbekov, a student Popbyan, Ambar-tsum Melikov, Stepan Lalayev, a warrant officer Dovlatov, and Christopher Dildarov (Vol. I l. 1, ob. 5,6; Vol. II l. 2, 23 ob., 24, 50 ob.).

During the events of March the Armenian impudence was so great that they burst into the houses of their Muslim friends, robbed them and killed everybody. On March 20th Stepan Lalayev and a large unit of Armenian soldiers entered the apartment of a doctor, Bei Bala bek Sultanov, who lived on Vorontsovskaya Street; Lalayev killed him from his gun. When Lalayev stepped outside, he shot dead a Muslim yard-keeper, his wife and two-year-old son (Vol. I l. 62, 68). About 30 armed Armenians arrived at the apartment of Meshadi Ahmed Ragim ogly, who lived on Surakhanskaya Street. They took gold, silver and lady’s possessions worth 34,840 rubles. Meshadi Ahmed knew some of the criminals – a shopkeeper Yekhushi and his son Samvel (Vol. I l. 21).

Yekhushi and other armed Armenians broke into the apartment of Aga Husein Hadji Salim ogly Nadzhafarov, took the most valuable property worth 111,640 rubles, and killed his brother and father. Nadzhafarov, women and children were sent to the Mailov Theatre, where they were held for three days (Vol. I l. 22). Several armed Armenians, a warrant officer Avakyan and a shoemaker Isaak Bagdasarov were among them, broke into an apartment of Meshadi Usein Safaraliyev on Church Street, took all his cash and other valuables worth 186,000 rubles. They took Safaraliyev and his family to the Record Theatre. On the way to the theatre, one of Armenians shot at Safaraliyev and injured him in the right ear (Vol. I l. 25).

Isaak Bagdasarov and other armed Armenians arrived at the apartment of Mir Kasum Ibrahim ogly on Tatar Street and robbed his home, taking 150,000 rubles (Vol. I l. 94). Several armed Armenians broke into Hasan Mikhailov’s place, who lived on the corner of Bondarnaya and Mariinskaya Streets. One of the Armenians was the owner of a barbershop situated on Olginskaya Street. He was fat with a scar on his face. The criminals killed one of the brothers of Mikhailov, Melik Mameda; his second brother Tagi was sent together with his wife and daughter to the Mailov Theatre. On the way to the theatre they killed Tagi and took 2500 rubles in cash. The Armenians took cash and various valuables worth 54,000 rubles from Mikhailov’s apartment (Vol. I l. 30).

 

Armed Armenians came into Taimur Salimov's apartment, which was placed on Church Street, and took all the valuable property estimated at 150,000 rubles. The janitor Mahammad Irza, who was in the apartment, identified Alexander and Levon Ter-Kazarov, who lived in the same house, and their third brother, whose name was not found, among the robbers; Mahammad Irza heard that Alexander Ter-Kazarov was inviting someone to come into Salimov's apartment on the telephone, explaining that the owners were not at home. (Vol. I, page 56).

 

Six Armenians armed with rifles came to Agha Ali Ismailov's apartment, which was placed on Bondarnaya Street, they intended to shoot Agha Ali. Receiving 7080 rubles, they agreed not to kill him and only wounded him in the back with a bayonet. Then, taking all the valuables, estimated at 17,780 rubles, the Armenians took Agha Ali and his family to the Mailov Theatre, where they spent all day and a half. Izmailov identified Arshak Avetisov among the robbers, who served in the Union of Hairdressers, he was chunky, clean-shaven, with a pockmarked face (t.I, page 91).

 

Several armed Armenians with rifles broke into the apartment of Yahchi Hanim Haji Ali Mardan kyzy Manafova, which was situated on Chadrova Street. They shot her son Agaverdi Manafov and looted all her property, estimated at 75,000 rubles. Among the robbers Yahchi Khanum saw her lodger Alexander, who had moved to Gogol Street after the March events (Vol. I, page 124).

 

On the third day of the March riots several armed Armenians, who had been invited by Kerimov's lodger, Levon Karakhanov, came to Mamed Tagi Kerimov's apartment, which was situated on Bondarnaya Street. Taking cash and the most valuable assets, estimated at only 49,000 rubles, Karakhanov sent Kerimov to the Mailov Theatre, advising him to take off his military jacket, because someone might take him for a rider of the Muslim division and shoot him. Then Karakhanov began searching for Mamed Tagi's brother, who studied in the school of ensigns. Searching for him, Karakhanov's comrades wandered into Amir Cooley Hasanov's apartment, where they killed Amir Cooley and his two sons Maharram and Usain Baloo (Vol. I, page 124).

 

On the same day, a group of armed Armenian soldiers came into the apartment of Nasir Kerbalay Azim oglu, which was situated on Tatarskaya Street, and killed his uncle Gabibulla Molla Haji Baba oglu and his cousin Haji Baba Gabibulla oglu, took 2,000 rubles and various valuables which cost 7662 rubles. Nasir managed to escape. Among the attackers he saw the owner of a grocery store on the corner of Tatarskaya and Karantinnaya Streets, Egush who was a son of Samvel (Vol. I, page 125).

 

On March 20, when a group of armed Armenian soldiers carried away Mashadi Mamed Sadyh Talybov and his family, who lived on Tserkovnaya Street, Talybov's last tenant, Levon Varshamyan, who was a brother of Varshamyan, embezzled all Talybov's valuables, estimated at more than 5,000,000 rubles; the stolen gold alone weighed about 30 pounds (Vol. I, page 162).

 

On March 20, 20-25 Armenian soldiers broke into the apartment of Ismail bey Shade oglu, who lived on Chadrovaya Street, they searched the apartment and robbed it of 5200 rubles. Then they brought Ismail bey, his brother Gasim bey, his uncle Abdul Halyk bey Mamedbekov and the Abdul's son, Ilyas bey, to the street, where everyone was surrounded by a crowd of 70 Armenians. Someone in the crowd began to shoot Ismail bey and his family. Gasim bey was killed with three bullets, Abdul bey Halyk with one bullet and Ilyas bey with three bullets. Ismail Bey was wounded in the shoulder and managed to escape. Ismail Bey recognized among the shooters a student of the I Paronyan gymnasium (Vol. I, page 164).

 

Some Armenians armed with rifles broke into the house of Ali Yeldash Aliyev on N. Priyutinskaya Street, murdered him and four of his brothers, stole all his property. They also took the belongings of tenant Yankel Samuilovich Slavinsky. Slavinsky later found one of the robbers on the street, who was detained and identified as Khachatur Martirosyan (vol. II, p. 45).

 

Simultaneously, armed Armenians stole the belongings of Meshadi Mamed Sadykh Hasanov under command of Sergey Melikov (vol. II, p. 176). During the events of March, Armenian soldiers pillaged a grocery store of Ali Ovsad Davidzadeh in the Grand Hotel. Stepan Lalayev explained to his good-brother Ali Ovsad Imamverdi Zeynalov that the store was pillaged on his orders (vol. I, p. 112, 113).

 

On the second day of the March pogroms, Ishkhan Karabekov, who lived in the fortress near the cathedral, and his brother-in-law Nikolai were shooting at the apartment windows of Abdul Jabar Babayev from the roof. When Babayev’s brother Abdul Gafar entered the study and started talking on the phone, Karabekov and his brother-in-law took several shots, killing him (vol. I, p. 3). According to Abdul Jabar Babayev, his good friend Pyotr Moiseyevich Zorabov overheard the administrator of Doctor Tigran Ter-Zakharyan admitted involvement in the murder of Jabadbek Ashurbekov and Doctor Kerimbek Sultanov, whose bodies were then thrown into the flames of the ‘Dagestan’ Hotel (vol. I, p 4).

 

Considering the abovementioned and taking into account:

I. That the following are accused of committing the aforementioned crimes:

1. Stepan Lalayev by the testimony of Ali Ovsad Davidzadeh, Imamverdi Zeynalov and Aga Husein Tagiyev;

2. Artemiy Nikolayevich Ter-Akopov and Fridun Antonov by the testimony of Abbas Eyvazov;

3. George Melikov by the testimony of Eyvazov, Colonel Mansur Prince Kajar and Aga Husein Tagiyev;

4. Ishkhan Karabekov, his good-brother Nikolai and Doctor Tigran Ter-Zakharyan’s administrator by the testimony of Abdul Jabar Babayev;

5. Asatur Vachiyants by the testimony of Mirza Ahmed Huseinzadeh;

6. Tatevos Amirov by the testimony of Aga Husein Tagiyev;

7. storekeeper Yekhush, Samvel’s son, by the testimony of Meshadi Ahmed Ragimogly, Aga Husein Haji Salimogly Najafov and Nasyrr Kerbalay Azimogly;

8. tailor Gayk Yeramyshogly by the testimony of Meshadi Ahmed Ragimogly;

9. shoemaker Isaak Bagdasarov by the testimony of Meshadi Usein Safaraliyev and Mir Qasum Seid Ismailogly;

10. officer Sergeyev by the testimony of Askhadin Hajiogly Mustafayev;

11. Alexander Ter-Kazarov, Levon Ter-Kazarov and their third, unnamed, brother by the testimony of Teymur Salimov;

12. barber Arshak Avetisov by the testimony of Aga Ali Izmailov;

13. Alexander, whose full name has not been identified, by the testimony of Yakhchi Khanum Haji Aali Mardan kyzy Manafova;

14. Levon Arutyunovich Karakhanyn by the testimony of Mamed Tagi Kerimov;

15. Sergey Melikov by the testimony of Meshadi Mamed Sadykh Hasanov;

16. Levon Varshamyan by the testimony of Meshadi Mamed Sadykh Talybov;

17. pupil of the 1st boys’ gymnasium Paronyan by the testimony of Ismailbek Sheydabekogly;

18. Ambartsum Melikov, Warrant Officer Dovlatov and Christofor Dildarov by the testimony of Aga Husein Tagiyev;

19. student Popovyan by the testimony of Mur Abdul Aziz Seidov;

20. Khachatur Martiosov by the testimony of Yankel Samuilovich Slavinsky;

21. Warrant Officer Avakyan by the testimony of Meshadi Usein Safaraliyev;

22. Yegish Pakhlavuni and Levon Ssaatsazbekov by the testimony of Kyazim Aleskerogly Akhundov;

II. That the pogroms of March, when the abovementioned crimes were committed, had been plotted by the Dashnaktsutyun Party and the Armenian National Council since 1917. The two organizations were trying to provoke the Muslim population into an armed offensive to destroy it in Baku, then on the outskirts to take its property and welfare and political influence into Armenian hands;

III. That, as demonstrated by the events following March 17, 1918, massacres of Muslims and destruction of Muslim residences took place in all parts of the city in a planned fashion, according to a preset system with organized military units, and under command of the latter, and by the Armenian population of Baku;

IV. That all the individuals exposed of committing one or several of the abovementioned crimes, as members of a gang, should be prosecuted. I would initiate prosecution for the abovementioned persons on the elements of crimes stipulated by articles 13, 129, 927, 1452, 1453, 1607, 1633 and 1636 of the Code of Punishments.

Member of the Extraordinary Investigative Commission: A. Kluge

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